Holiday engagement brings cheer to Schenectady’s Ellis Medicine

Rachel Kaminski and Robert Giovannone got engaged last week in Ellis' Infusion Center.
Rachel Kaminski and Robert Giovannone got engaged last week in Ellis' Infusion Center.

SCHENECTADY — As Rachel Kaminski sat in the Ellis Medicine Outpatient Infusement Center through hours of being poked with needles and an IV to manage her Crohn’s disease, she found herself wondering if her boyfriend, Robert Giovannone, would show up to ask her to marry him.

Kaminski, 27, of Clifton Park, had given Giovannone, 30, also of Clifton Park, a strict set of instructions regarding the imminent proposal — she didn’t want him to propose on her birthday or on Christmas, but was hoping he would ask before the end of the year.

The couple started dating two summers ago. With less than two weeks left until 2020, though, Giovannone was running out of time. As the hours of her treatment went by Dec. 19, Kaminski started to lose hope while nurses had to poke her five times with needles to get the IV situated.

If Giovannone hadn’t shown up within the first few hours of the treatment, Kaminski thought, the odds of him coming at all were slim.

But then, just as she had started to give up hope on getting her holiday proposal, Kaminski heard Giovannone outside of her room asking a receptionist where he would find his girlfriend.

Giovannone walked into the room along with Kaminski’s mother and asked her to marry him, just a few days before his deadline of the new year.

Already fighting through a tough round of therapy, Kaminski said she became overwhelmed.

“I was sobbing even more. I had completely given up hope, but my intuition was right,” she said.

The hospital proposal, Kaminski said, was not random. She receives an IV infusion once a month for her Crohn’s disease, and Giovannone, who has ulcerative colitis, a disease similar to Crohn’s, also receives regular infusions.

When the two started dating over a year ago, they went into the relationship knowing how busy they both were, with Kaminski working at a chemical plant in Waterford and Giovannone at Caliber Collision as a parts coordinator.

So to make things work, one of their first dates was Giovannone accompanying her to Ellis Hospital in Schenectady for her monthly infusion.

“I was too busy to date last summer,” she said. “He took a day off of work and went with me to Ellis, so I figured the proposal would be at the hospital.”

The hospital proposal has further meaning for the couple, Kaminski added. With the frequency at which she is in the hospital for treatments and having become friendly with the nurses, she said it important for the nurses to be some of the first people to hear the news, or see the proposal firsthand.

“I spend so much time with those nurses; it was cool for them to be the first people who knew,” she said.

The proposal was, in terms of the couple’s future wedding, one of the last steps in the process. Kaminski said that she and Giovannone have been planning on the commitment since early in their relationship, which is why the proposal wasn’t a huge surprise, and the reason that she feels no nerves or anxiety going forward.

“It doesn’t really feel any different,” she said. “We’ve kind of been on the same page since day one.”

The proposal was also the final building block for a wedding that Kaminski says she has been planning anyway. She already has her dress, and her main concern with time passing without a proposal was the possibility that it might have been out of style by the time Giovannone proposed to her.

“It feels good to not be the psycho person who has her wedding dress way before her wedding. It feels good to not be insane,” she said.

Categories: News, Schenectady County, Your Niskayuna

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